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CLC Blog

More reasons why Patrick Brown can’t be trusted. Some will shock you.

On November 13th, the PC Party announced the vote results on policy proposals that it had made available for review by members. The winning policies would guide a future PC government.

Every single one of the 139 policies that party members voted on from November 2 – November 6th passed by a landslide, suggesting they were overwhelmingly supported by PC members. Not a single one of the 139 policy proposals were defeated by voters, not even those so poorly written that you can’t understand what the heck it means. Curiously, most garnered less than 15% NO votes.

That’s a very peculiar result, given that the two largest wings of the PC base (social conservatives & fiscal conservatives) are outraged with Brown for having rigged the policy process from the start.

On October 11th, prior to posting the “votable” policy submissions online, Brown revealed to journalists that he had filtered out all of the socially conservative resolutions which had been submitted by hundreds of grassroots members, such as repealing the age-inappropriate, Wynne/Levin sex ed curriculum. He also admitted to screening out fiscally conservative policy submissions that opposed carbon taxes. (By the way, the Leader has no power to do this according to the party’s constitution.)

And the next largest constituency in the PC’s base - democratic conservatives - is fuming about the alleged rigging of candidate nomination elections which even featured ballot box stuffing to favour Brown’s preferred candidates!

I know for a fact that many PC members partook in a protest vote during the Nov 2-6 voting period, by voting NO to every single one of the policy resolutions online. I did that myself.

Dozens, probably hundreds of other PC members also voted NO to all of Brown’s hand-picked policies, as a way to protest his hi-jacking of the entire policy process (which is supposed to be a member-owned process according to the party constitution).

Given the protest vote, and given the mounting evidence that Brown has rigged nominations, broken his promises to many groups, and flip-flopped like a carp on dry land, it’s reasonable to be suspicious about whether the online voting results are also fraudulent.

SUPPLIER OF ONLINE VOTING SYSTEM ADMITS PARTY COULD ALTER RESULTS

The day after the PCs announced the vote results, I contacted InteliVote Systems Inc. That’s the Nova Scotia-based company who provided the online voting platform and tabulation of results to the PC Party. InteliVote also ran online voting for the recent, United Conservative Party Leadership race in which Jason Kenney was elected leader.

What I learned from speaking to the company was not reassuring, given what we know about Brown.

I asked, “Can you verify that the vote results published yesterday by the PC Party of Ontario are exactly the same results tabulated by your company, and that no tampering by the PCs could have occurred?”

The answer I got from the InteliVote representative was, “No. We can’t verify that. We give our results to the client as per the contract. What they do with it afterwards is their business”.

To be certain that I was understanding this correctly, I probed with a further question to clarify whether there was any condition of the contract or other requirement imposed by InteliVote that would prevent the PC Party from simply announcing falsified vote results. My question included the hypothetical example of the PC Party, or any client for that matter, claiming publicly that certain policies passed when in fact they were defeated, or the vote results were otherwise modified.”

The InteliVote representative explained to me:

“We don’t have any requirements that the client not modify the numbers. We just provide the numbers.”

“We don’t own that data. If the party were to modify data, we wouldn’t know. We provide our results on letterhead to the client. I’m guessing most clients don’t modify the numbers”.

So there you have it. There is nothing to prevent Brown from making up vote results to show that the party membership is united behind the dear leader and his glorious vision. And given what we know about Patrick’s penchant for double-crossing people, lying and (allegedly) cheating, it’s well within the realm of possibilities that he did make up the vote results.

Even if the published vote result was not falsified by Brown and Co., there is another, more sublte way in which the online vote was rigged. The setup of the online voting deliberately introduced response bias, making it easy to vote YES, and hard to vote NO.  They did this by lumping many of the policies into categories, and then made it simple to vote YES to an entire block of policies at one go.  But there was no corresponding "Vote No to all in this category" option.  To vote NO, one had to go through three mouse clicks for every single resolution.  With 139 policies to go through, only the most dedicated voters would be taking time to carefully read each policy and vote accordingly. For many users who did not want to take the time to actually sit and read through each dreadfully boring policy, this may've steered them to vote YES for entire blocks of policies. 

Corrupted process even at the PAC level

There are so many pieces of evidence supporting the proposition that Brown has presided over a corrupt, unconstitutional and un-democratic policy process that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Allow me to share another controversy.

The party set up 16 different Policy Advisory Committees (PACs), each with two Co-Chairs. Arguably the most sensitive and important PAC, certainly for social conservatives and for Brown, was the one on Education.

Theoretically, that’s the PAC that would have been responsible for assessing the policy resolutions that were submitted about repealing the Liberal Government’s radical sex ed curriculum. Brown is now a loud and proud cheerleader for Wynne’s early childhood sex program.

Can you guess who Brown appointed as Co-Chair of the Education PAC? Believe it or not, he selected his mother, Judy Brown.

Do you think she’d have a conflict of interest between obeying her son’s orders on the one hand, versus her obligation to represent and protect the interests of grassroots members on the other?

WAS POLICY VOTE RIGGING A FACTOR IN RESIGNATION OF POLICY CHAIR?

On the PC Party Executive there exists a position called Policy Chair. In theory, that person has the greatest responsibility to oversee and ensure the integrity of the policy process leading up to a Policy Conference.

Up until June 2017, the Policy Chair was a guy named Rob Elliott. According to media speculation, he quit over allegations of Brown’s people doing ballot-stuffing in various nominations, and didn’t want to be a part of those shenanigans.

I met Elliott during the March 2016 PC Convention in Ottawa, the first under Brown’s leadership. Elliot was campaigning for election as Policy Chair on the PC Executive, and I got the impression he was a nice guy and a straight shooter.

In fact, I voted for Elliott as Policy Chair because he convinced me that he was committed to protecting the integrity of the policy convention as a grassroots, member-owned process, even if he himself disagreed with the policies, and even if it meant taking a stand against any attempt by the Leader’s office to scuttle member-submitted policies.

I recall pressing him with the then-theoretical example of “What if members submitted a policy resolution to repeal the Liberal sex ed curriculum, and the Party Leader tried to sabotage it? Would you fight to protect the right of members to vote for the policies of their choice?” I remember feeling that Elliottt was sincere when he promised he’d do just that.

Given that his June resignation from the PC Party Executive was just 2-3 months before all of this rigged policy process came out, it makes me wonder whether the media’s speculation only captured part of the reason why Elliott quit.

Might it also have been the case that he saw the writing on the wall? That Brown was preparing to sabotage member-submitted policies and replace a proper Policy Conference with this scripted and opaque online voting process? And that as a person of integrity, he didn’t want his name attached to a corrupt process?

New Policy Chair promised social conservative policies would not be scuttled

Elliott was replaced as Policy Chair by Ms. Kaydee Richmond. When the party announced in late summer that policies would soon be voted on, a number of socially conservative PC members began to contact her because they were concerned that Brown might try to scuttle the socially conservative policies they had submitted online at the dedicated website that the PC Party created for policy submissions.

After speaking to Ms. Richmond, some of these PC members reported back to Campaign Life Coalition that she reassured them that their submissions would not be filtered out by Brown or anybody else.

On September 17th, I spoke with Kaydee myself about this concern. She assured me that nobody would be scuttling any member-submitted policies, whether socially conservative or otherwise. I felt that Kaydee was being sincere when she made that promise, and that she fully intended to honour it.

But then on October 11th, Brown essentially admitted to the Associated Press that he killed all socially conservative policy submissions, along with those opposed to carbon taxes.

I don’t blame Ms. Richmond for what happened. She seemed like an honest person. If I were a betting man, I would guess she was shoved aside by Brown in this matter, and quite possibly, was just as deceived as the rest of us.

By his un-democratic actions, Brown is very likely damaging the morale of everyone in the PC Party, not just traditional PC voters and EDA Executives, but even the party brass and organizers around him.

Conclusion

Perhaps as a result of the ethical questions raised here, the PC Party will be forced to publish the letterhead document from InteliVote proving that the vote results announced Nov 13th are exactly the same as what’s on the letterhead. I doubt it, but we’ll see.

Even if they do however, and even if the numbers do match what the PC Party claims, there is still more than abundant evidence that the entire policy process up to that point was a sham, and so will be the unconstitutional Policy “Convention” on November 25th.

All PC Party members, whether social conservatives or not, should reject Brown’s hand-picked, orchestrated slate of policies, and view them with the scorn they deserve. This entire process and the November 25th Policy “Rally” is an insult to democracy and the rights of grassroots party members. Delegates at the convention should go prepared to make a protest statement.

 

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